TECH: Rockwell Collins, Australian air force test WBHF communication system

The Australian air force and Rockwell Collins completed a wideband high frequency communications demonstration between a ground station and a C-17 aircraft.

The test marked the first time WBHF data was exchanged between the airlifter and a ground station. Operators were able to transmit several forms of information, including real-time chat, streaming video, digital voice audio and file transfers.

Australian defense officials say the event marked a step forward for Plan Jericho, a program that aims to upgrade the air force’s communication capabilities.

“Being able to transfer secure data via the WBHF radio could provide greater operational resilience to the Australian Defense Force in the future, especially in satellite denied environments,” Plan Jericho director Captain Carl Newman said in a press release. “This technology has the ability to deliver a true sovereign beyond line of sight communications capability for defense, and one that complements and hardens existing networks.”

Rockwell Collins has been involved with several WBHF communication demonstrations, including one with a P-3C aircraft in October 2015 and another with a U.S. Air Force C-17 airlifter in August 2016.

“WBHF technology is the only modernized HF solution that will deliver net-centric, high-speed communications at costs that are in line with today’s tighter military budgets,” Rockwell Collins Asia Pacific managing director Jim Walker added.

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